Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu lauded the men and women of prodigious talent and calibre who adorned the benches of the Upper House on the occasion of 66th Rajya Sabha Day on Thursday. The celebrations were organized in the GMC Balayogi Auditorium at Parliament Library Building to mark the Rajya Sabha Day which is observed on 3rd April every year. It may be recalled that the Rajya Sabha was constituted for the first time on 3rd April 1952.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu also became the first Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha to attend the Rajya Sabha Day Celebration.
“They contributed significantly towards realising the vision of the Founding Fathers of the Constitution who after a lot of deliberations in the Constituent Assembly agreed to provide us a bicameral legislature with the Rajya Sabha as the Upper House, the House of Elders,” he said talking of the members of Rajya Sabha thus far.
The Rajya Sabha, over the years, has established a credible legacy of performance and justified its existence as a second chamber of our parliamentary democracy, he said, adding, “However, our work is far from complete”.
Expressing his anguish and agony over the issue of disruption in the House, the Chairman said that the recently concluded second part of the Budget Session witnessed continued disruptions day after day despite his earnest appeals to all sections of the House.
“As the Presiding Officer, despite my assurance to accommodate the concerns of all parties, the members preferred to engage in disruptions,” the Chairman said.
“…it is not a question of which party or which member but a question of our collective failure to transact important business and deliberate on matters of urgent public importance which has attracted the public criticism,” he said.
Calling repeated disruptions as a “sad commentary” on the functioning of our parliamentary democracy, he lamented “we were all the losers’.
“It was a win-win situation, but we made it a lose-lose situation. It is time to wake up and look at the way forward,” the Chairman said stating further that the whole country is watching our collective failure in disparagement.
Appreciating the work of the employees of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Chairman Naidu said that the effective functioning of a legislature depends largely on the support and service it gets from its Secretariat.
“The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has a glorious history of servicing this great institution with dedication, commitment and sincerity since it came into existence on 3rd April 1952. As an inheritor of the shining legacy of the Rajya Sabha, it should be the duty of all of us to make it even more lustrous,” he said.
The Chairman also appreciated the efforts of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat for organising various competitions involving the children of the employees to mark the Rajya Sabha Day Celebrations and congratulated all the young winners.
He especially appreciated the cultural programme organised on this occasion on the theme ‘Bhartiyam’ (Indianness). The two senior retired employees of the Secretariat, namely P. Gopinath and Laxmi Chand Garg were honoured by the Chairman.
The welcome address at the occasion was delivered Rajya Sabha Secretary-General Desh Deepak Verma.